Jae Crowder and the Boston Celtics stung the Charlotte Hornets for the second time in 11 days Wednesday night.
Crowder scored his third consecutive double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling in a game-high 12 rebounds in Boston’s 102-89 victory over the Hornets. Kelly Olynyk added a team-high 20 points and joined four other teammates who scored in double figures.
Olynyk (20), Crowder (19), Avery Bradley (18), Isaiah Thomas (18) and David Lee (10) all put up at least 10 points.
Hornets rookie Frank Kaminsky scored a career-high 23 points and looked a lot like the guy Hornets owner Michael Jordan allegedly turned down several Celtics picks to draft at ninth overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Here’s how the C’s got the win.
Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk
SLOPPY BUT SATISFYING
The game started a bit slow with four combined turnovers before anyone scored, and the two teams combined for 15 total turnovers in the opening quarter.
The Celtics made up for their poor ball possession by shooting 62.5 percent from the floor, including 42.9 percent from 3-point range and a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. They led 29-21 after the first quarter.
Nicholas Batum stirred the drink for Charlotte early, finishing with six points and four assists. Thomas led all scorers with 10 points.
CELTICS OR WIZARDS?
The Celtics assisted on seven of their baskets in the first 12 minutes, and five of those dimes came from big men.
Jonas Jerebko might have had the fanciest assist of the quarter with a behind-the-back pass to Lee, but Sullinger was particularly efficient with two terrific passes himself.
They might as well have been pulling rabbits out of hats, as the Hornets had no answer to start the game.
WHAT’S COOLER THAN COOL?
Ice cold. And that’s exactly what the Celtics were in the second quarter.
After a scorching hot first, the Celtics shot just 22.5 percent in the second quarter, missing seven of eight 3-pointers and several free throws as well.
They ended the quarter at absolute zero, not making a field goal for the final 7:24 of the half. Despite the slump, they still led 47-40 at halftime.
R.J. Hunter and Kaminsky looked good for their respective teams, though. Hunter was the primary ball handler for Boston’s second unit, hit a 3-pointer and had two steals. Kaminsky scored five points and pulled down five rebounds in the quarter. Somewhere, Jordan was smiling.
PETAL TO THE METAL
The Celtics went on a third-quarter run for the second game in a row, this time using a 21-6 run to grab a commanding 20-point lead.
Olynyk led the way during the run with nine points, including a monster put-back slam that earned him the…
PLAY OF THE GAME
When you get the entire bench bouncing around like little kids on Christmas, well, you win.
A SMALL PROBLEM
The Hornets took advantage of a small Celtics lineup that had Crowder playing the power forward position, going on a 12-4 run to end the third quarter, closing the gap to 12 points.
Led by Kaminsky and Jeremy Lamb, they continued to make things interesting in the fourth quarter and came withing six points as Boston and Charlotte traded baskets. It wouldn’t be enough for the Hornets to break their two-game losing streak, though, and the Celtics held on for the win in Buzz City.
Boston gets a mini break for the holidays, but will be back in action in Detroit against the Pistons on Saturday. The Celtics lost to the Pistons, 119-116, back on Dec. 16. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET from The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Thumbnail photo via Sam Sharpe/USA TODAY Sports Images